COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Health Care has reached a milestone in its transition from all-paper to all-electronic patient records. HIMSS Analytics announced recently that five hospitals within the MU Health Care system have achieved Stage 7 of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption Model – the highest level of EMR implementation.
The five MU Health Care hospitals certified to have met Stage 7 by HIMSS, a national company that evaluates hospitals’ progress in implementing electronic medical records, include Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, the Missouri Psychiatric Center, University Hospital, and Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Only 97 of the 5,319 hospitals nationwide have reached this advanced stage of electronic medical record implementation.
At MU Health Care, the steps taken to reach Stage 7 have included:
• using computers to reduce the potential for error by eliminating hand-written doctors’ orders and medication prescriptions
• using computerized systems to alert medical professionals to potential problems, such as a patient’s allergy to a medication
• giving all of a patient’s caregivers, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others, immediate access to their patient’s up-to-date medical information
• allowing faster ordering of laboratory tests and quicker access to those tests by caregivers
“The most important aspect of our progress with implementing the electronic medical record is the way we are utilizing information technology to improve patient safety,” said Jim Ross, chief executive officer of University of Missouri Health Care.
Joanne Burns, chief information officer at MU Health Care, said the achievement reflects MU Health Care’s dedication to providing care using the latest technological advances.
“Achieving the highest level of electronic medical record adoption is not only an honor, but a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our clinicians and information technology staff,” said Burns. “Our goal has always been to provide the best environment for patients and those who deliver their care. With less than two percent of health organizations in the United States having reached this level, our achievement shows that MU Health Care is a leader in health information technology.”
The widespread use of health information technology is meant to improve quality of care, decrease the potential for errors, reduce health care costs, increase efficiency, decrease paperwork and expand access to affordable health care.
Reaching the Stage 7 level was the result of a unique partnership between the University of Missouri and Cerner Corporation – the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation – with a goal of using health information technology to enhance the quality and safety of care.
“Information technology will play an increasing role in the practice of medicine in the future, allowing better value through improved quality and efficiency,” said Harold Williamson Jr., MD, vice chancellor of the University of Missouri Health System. “The creativity and expertise of our medical, nursing and health professions faculty has been invaluable in helping us reach this technology milestone.”
HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a method for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.
For a complete list of hospitals that have achieved the Stage 7 designation, visit http://www.himssanalytics.org/emram/stage7Hospitals.aspx.
For more information about University of Missouri Health Care, visit www.muhealth.org.